Scotland business

Scottish exports 'at all-time high'

Containers at port Image copyright AFP

A record £27.9bn worth of Scottish goods and services were exported across the world in 2013, according to official data.

The figure represented a rise of £1.9bn, or 7.2%, on the previous year.

The largest sectors were food and drink and refined petroleum.

America remained the largest single market for Scottish exports, with an estimated £3.9bn of goods, followed by the Netherlands (£2bn), Germany (£1.9bn) and France (£1.8bn).

The Global Connections Survey figures showed £16.8bn - or just over 60% - of all international exports were attributable to manufacturing sector companies.

The service sector accounted for £9.2bn, or 33.1%, of the total.

Oil and gas figures were excluded from the statistics.

Meanwhile, exports from Scotland to the rest of the UK also rose, up by £1.2bn to £46.2bn.

Top sectors in Scotland for international exports:

• Food and drink - £5bn (18% of all exports)

• Refined petroleum - £3.5bn (12.6%)

• Legal, accounting and business - £1.9bn (6.7%)

• Machinery and equipment - £1.7bn (6.3%)

• Electronic products - £1.6 billion (5.7%)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "These excellent figures show that we are on course to meet our stretching target to increase exports by 50% by 2017.

"The strong and reputable Scottish brand is driving up demand as our exporters continue to seize on the opportunities that exist in new and existing markets in their respective fields.

"Scotland's economic recovery is now well established: our economy has grown continuously for two years, GDP is above pre-recession levels and the economic outlook is the strongest it has been for many years."

Trade promotion agency Scottish Development International welcomed the findings.

Chief executive Anne MacColl said: "This year's Global Connections Survey confirms that appetite for Scottish products and services is at an all-time high.

"Despite mixed rates of economic growth and recovery in global markets, we continue to grow our exports in both mature and emerging economies with more and more Scottish businesses waking up to the international opportunity."

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